Legs dangling off the high red stool, feet wriggling in satisfaction as I fork another bite of the deliciously sweet, creamy and delicately soft chocolate genoise into my mouth, cherishing most of all the brilliant lip staining red cherries. Apart from that and the dark mood lighting, that is what I remember of my favorite cake in the whole wide world when I was 5 years old. Black Forest Cake. I could care less that I was in a dessert parlor in the middle of a department store of a huge shopping mall. I'm sure my memories of the atmosphere and the decor is way off from what it really was back then, but its funny that there are certain things that a little girl remembers. So, when we were faced with making one of these fine cakes, I was both excited and fearful. Excited because it's one of those childhood things you know, but fearful because I can bake a cake for sure, I just....I just have never decorate one before. I don't ice cakes. I just don't. To me, it's like a big fat "YOU FAILED" if I can't ice it right the first time. It's intimidating. See, with breads (which is what I am good at), you use your hands and it directly influences the dough. You can feel it with your hands the progress, when you've kneaded enough to get the perfect gluten development. With cakes, you use tools. That metal icing spatula thingy. It's the middle man. It feels like going to confession and talking to the priest (the middle man) so you can talk to God. That's just not me. I go straight to the source. The spatula is like the priest, you never know what he's thinking. So ladies and gentlemen of the foodblogging world, I present to you my attempt at the beautiful Black Forest Cherry Torte:
I had no problem baking the cake, it's a rather delicate batter, a genoise. Though on the drier side, you moisten it with kirsch simple syrup inbetween the 3 layers which I had to cut freehand. I almost threw up. My heart was pounding as if I were about to jump out of a plane, seriously I am not even kidding. My hands were shaking so much, it felt like I had overdosed on caffiene. I did it though, it took like 5 minutes lol.
Above is the bottom layer which has on the outter edge kirsch flavored chantilly cream in medium peak piped. It was then filled with cherry filling.
I gently slid the middle layer ontop and piped the middle layer with more medium peak chantilly cream.
Finally the top layer went on and I plopped a load of soft peak chantilly cream on it and then smoothed it out. I'm anal. I like things perfect so it was hard to not try and make the top look perfectly smooth. If I overdid it it would have curdled into butter. I also lightly iced the sides of the cake just enough to make the chocolate shavings stick to the sides.
The next step was to use a serrated knife and lightly divide the cake into 12 pieces. Then with a 2 in cookie cutter we placed it in the middle of the cake and filled the inside with more chocolate shavings then we piped rosettes on each piece and topped each rosettes with a halved cherry.
Phew! It was nerve wrecking for sure but quite the challenge and a challenge well done to everyone in our class. It was definitely satisfying to be able to do and see the WHOLE process and that out of simple recipes, out pops this thing. It left us all wondering...we made this?
If anyone is interested in having me post the recipe, so you can make it for your Valentine please let me know ;-)